MORRIS, Conn. (WTNH) — A 250-pound black bear was euthanized after it attacked a 10-year-old boy in Morris, Litchfield County on Sunday.
The boy was near the trampoline in his grandparents’ backyard on West Street with his grandfather when the adult male black bear attacked.
“The bear came out of the woods unexpectedly, grabbed the poor 10-year-old, and dragged him off toward the woods,” State Rep. David Wilson (R-Litchfield) said.
That’s when the boy’s grandfather, James Butler, who uses a wheelchair, grabbed a flat bar and crawled over to help. He couldn’t get close enough to actually hit the bear, so he threw it at the bear, hitting it in the head. That’s when DEEP officials believe the bear released the boy’s leg from his mouth.
His grandmother, who declined to speak with New 8 on camera, said a neighbor armed with a rake helped scare the bear away, but it then came back and tried to break in through the screen door.
“What that tells me is that it’s probably a bear that was both habituated and food conditioned, meaning it’s a bear that’s gotten very comfortable around people, around homes and houses,” Jenny Dickson, DEEP’s director of wildlife division said.
Environmental Conservation Police later euthanized the bear.
If you see a bear in your yard, Environmental Conservation police say:
- Keep garbage cans in a secure area;
- Take in bird feeders;
- Do not approach it;
- Go into your house, garage, or other structure
- If the bear persistently approaches, go on the offensive — shout, wave your arms and throw sticks or rocks.
“Scare the bear. That’s the most important thing you can do,” Dickson said.
Wilson has been trying for years to pass legislation to allow bear hunts in Connecticut.
“This is going to happen more often,” he added. “We’ve been saying it for years. Why not do a lottery system which would be a revenue maker for DEEP?”
According to DEEP’s website, officials think there are 1,200 bears in the state. At this time of year, they are looking to eat a lot to put on weight for winter.
“It’s certainly possible that they could view a person as a prey item,” Dickson said.
The boy suffered bites to his foot and leg and had scratches on his back. He is undergoing treatment for rabies as a precaution.